Non Irish speakers here in the Republic face fresh discrimination under new language law

A letter from John F. Hyland:

By Letters
Saturday, 16th April 2022, 6:17 am
Updated Sunday, 17th April 2022, 8:18 am
Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Discriminatory laws have recently been passed into Irish law down south.

Discriminating against non-Irish speakers in favour of the Irish language elite, who already have huge privileges here in the Republic.

Equality of citizenship is a fiction. This type of discrimination was extensively used to discriminate against Protestants and non nationalists from 1927 to 1960. Two politicians who condemned the practice of using Irish in this way were Kevin O’Higgins in 1926 and James Dillon, Fine Gael, from the 1930s to 1965.

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In the 1935 inquiry into the Irish civil service it was stated that the emphasis on ability in Irish militates against obtaining a good supply of good candidates, particularly at higher levels. The inquiry recommended that Irish should no longer be compulsory for the civil service. The government of the day ignored this recommendation.

This latest new law was slipped in without debate because of pre-existing inequality in our laws. The Republic has a commissioner for the Irish language who promoted this discriminatory law against non-Irish speakers. If we believe in equality there should be a language commissioner for English speakers and maybe Irish speakers, to counter the power of the Irish language commissioner.

These laws are precisely the same laws Sinn Fein wants to enforce on the north to discriminate against Protestants there.

We should be ashamed of ourselves to have such discriminatory laws on our statute books.

John F Hyland, Killiney, Co Dublin

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